A New York investor group that has been mulling a takeover of Dataproducts Corp. since last year finally weighed in Thursday with three formal proposals to buy all or part of the Woodland Hills-based maker of computer printers.
The group, which already owns 8% of Dataproducts, offered $273 million, or $15 a share, to buy the rest of the company. At least $10 of the per-share purchase price would be in cash, the group said.
The group, called DPC Acquisition Partners and led by John K. Castle, a former chief executive of the Wall Street investment firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, also offered to buy only the company's Dataproducts New England unit in exchange for $25 million cash and its existing stake in Dataproducts.
The unit makes rugged printers and communications products for the military and accounted for about $50 million of Dataproducts' $353.4 million in total sales for the fiscal year ended March 25.
In its third proposal, DPC offered to buy both Dataproducts New England and the company's supplies division for $55 million cash and its current Dataproducts stock. The supplies division, which sells ink, toner and other printer supplies, also accounts for about $50 million of Dataproducts' business.
The proposals drew a lukewarm response from Wall Street. Dataproducts' stock fell 25 cents a share to $12.75 in American Stock Exchange composite trading.
Mum on Other Suitors
Dataproducts Chairman Jack C. Davis declined comment on the DPC proposals except to say the company's board would consider them along with other bids the company has received. He would not identify the other parties nor the terms of their offers.
Dataproducts began soliciting takeover bids in February, three months after DPC first disclosed it was buying Dataproducts stock and might consider bidding $15 a share for the remaining shares.
DPC also threatened to seek shareholder consent to oust Dataproducts' directors but dropped the plan in June when Dataproducts agreed to give DPC the same confidential company data that it provided to other potential suitors.
Meanwhile, Dataproducts has been struggling financially. Citing softness in the computer industry, the company reported a 98% plunge in profit for its fiscal first quarter ended June 24, to $17,000 from $810,000 a year earlier, as sales slipped 3% to $83.3 million from $85.5 million.